Fred Meyer donates to bicycle organization

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Bike Clark County received its first bike donation after a fleet of bicycles was stolen from the volunteer bike advocacy organization last summer. Fred Meyer donated 12 bikes for the organization's upcoming "Safe Routes to School" bicycle safety program.

Since the theft, the organization has received several cash donations, said Bike Clark County president Eric Giacchino. The money went into the general fund used to cover insurance, maintain the bicycle fleet and purchase helmets given away to the students during the spring safety program.

Organizations that have donated cash include the Vancouver Firefighters Union, the Hough Foundation, Kiewit Bridge and Marine Division, New Seasons Market, the Vancouver Bike Club, the Portland Wheelmen Touring Club, Niche Wine Bar, the office of attorney Terry Lee, Bad Monkey Bikes, and Camas Bike and Sport.

Ten Giant MTX bikes, six Giant Boulder bikes and some bike parts and equipment were stolen Aug. 7 from the Hough Pool, where Bike Clark County had been storing its fleet. One bike was recovered but damaged beyond repair, Giacchino said.

Two weeks after the theft, the Vancouver Police Department's Neighborhood Response Team arrested Matthew Robert Smith, 27, and Jory John Aultman, 19, for investigtion of second-degree burglary and trafficking stolen property.